Powerful Paraphrasing

By Rachel Schwarz

The first two listening tips I discussed were nodding and smiling. Is your mouth bored? Good!- the next tip for becoming a better listener involves just a little bit of talking.

In order to help you stay focused and confirm to the person doing the talking that you’re not simply nodding and smiling because it’s fun, make sure that every once in a while, you paraphrase what the other person said. When he or she comes to the end of a thought, respond with “So, what I hear you saying is…”. This will help both of you ensure that you’re on the same page and encourage explanation of an idea or expectation regarding the task to be carried out.

Any small thing that you can do to help keep the lines of communication clear and mutually understood is a step in the right direction. Also, paraphrasing the speaker’s idea will help you become more involved in the discussion.

To have a conversation you need at least two people. Now that ‘paraphrasing’ has been added to your listening checklist, you can be a more involved part of the conversation!

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